How To Grow Pak Choy in Australia

Quick Guide: Growing Pak Choy

  • Optimal Growing Temperatures: Between 21°C and 30°C.
  • Ready to Harvest: 6-11 weeks after planting.
  • Space Between Plants: Plant 30-40 cm apart.
  • Companion Plants: Beans, Beets, Celery
  • Non-Companion Plants: Tomato, Peppers
  • Plant Type: Seed.

When to Plant Pak Choy in Australia

Australia Map

Tropical

Best planting months for Pak Choy in the Tropical regions are April to August. This includes areas like Cairns, Darwin, and Broome.

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Subtropical

For the Subtropical region, Pak Choy can be planted from February to June. Cities in the Subtropical region include Brisbane, Central Coast, and Sydney.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Temperate

Pak Choy can be planted from February to April in the Temperate regions of Australia. Cities in the Temperate region include Melbourne, Adelaide, Geelong, and Perth.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Cool

For the Cool region, Pak Choy can be planted from February to April. Cities in the Cool region include alpine regions of Victoria and Tasmania.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Arid

Best planting months for Pak Choy in the Arid region is March to September.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Getting Started with Pak Choy

If you're ready to start growing your own pak choy at home, it's important to get off to a good start. This section will guide you through the process of choosing the right variety of pak choy and preparing the soil for planting.

Choosing the Right Variety of Pak Choy

Pak choy, also known as bok choy or Chinese cabbage, comes in different varieties, each with its own unique characteristics. When selecting a variety, consider factors such as size, shape, and flavour to find the one that suits your preferences. Here are some popular pak choy varieties you can choose from:

Variety

Description

Baby Bok Choy

Compact size, tender leaves, perfect for stir-frying.

Shanghai Bok Choy

Larger size, crisp stems, and slightly bitter taste.

Choi Sum

Similar to baby bok choy, but with long, slender stems and delicate leaves.

Pai Tsai

Mild and slightly sweet flavour, with frilly leaves and thick white stems.

Consider your culinary preferences and the space available in your garden when choosing the variety of pak choy to grow. It's worth experimenting with different varieties to find your favourites.

Preparing the Soil for Planting Pak Choy

Before planting pak choy, it's essential to prepare the soil adequately. Pak choy thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Here are the steps to prepare the soil for planting:

  1. Choose a sunny location: Pak choy requires at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Select a spot in your garden that receives ample sunlight.
  2. Clear the area: Remove any weeds, rocks, or debris from the planting area. Weeds can compete with pak choy for nutrients and water, so it's important to establish a weed-free environment.
  3. Loosen the soil: Use a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 8-10 inches. This helps improve soil aeration and drainage.
  4. Add organic matter: Incorporate well-rotted compost or aged manure into the soil. This enriches the soil with nutrients and improves its texture. Aim for a ratio of 1 part organic matter to 2 parts soil.
  5. Level the soil: Rake the soil to create a smooth and level surface for planting. This makes it easier for the seeds to establish and grow.

By following these steps, you'll create an ideal environment for your pak choy to thrive. Now that you've chosen the right variety and prepared the soil, you're ready to move on to the next steps. If you like our article, you can see more guides in our A-Z Growing Guides. 

Planting and Caring for Pak Choy

To successfully grow pak choy in Australia, it's important to pay attention to its specific requirements during the planting and caring process. In this section, we will discuss sowing pak choy seeds, watering and sunlight requirements, and maintaining proper nutrition for healthy growth.

Sowing Pak Choy Seeds

Pak choy can be grown from seeds, which are readily available at garden centers or online. Before sowing the seeds, prepare the soil by loosening it with a garden fork or tiller. Remove any weeds or debris that may hinder the growth of the pak choy plants.

Sow the pak choy seeds directly into the soil at a depth of around 1 centimeter. Space the seeds according to the recommended distance provided on the seed packet. Gently cover the seeds with soil and lightly firm it down. Water the area thoroughly to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

Watering and Sunlight Requirements

Pak choy prefers consistently moist soil, so it's important to water regularly. Aim to keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Avoid overhead watering as it may increase the risk of diseases. Instead, direct the water towards the base of the plants to minimise water splashing onto the leaves.

In terms of sunlight, pak choy thrives in partial shade to full sun. It typically requires at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. If you live in a particularly hot region, providing some shade during the hottest part of the day can help prevent leaf wilting.

Maintaining Proper Nutrition

To ensure healthy growth and development, pak choy requires adequate nutrition. Before planting, enrich the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure. This will improve the soil structure and provide essential nutrients.

During the growing season, you can further support the growth of pak choy by applying a balanced organic fertiliser. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the correct dosage and frequency of application. This will help provide the necessary nutrients for the plants to thrive.

Periodic mulching around the base of the plants can also help retain moisture, suppress weeds, and provide additional nutrients as it breaks down. Use organic mulch such as straw or grass clippings, ensuring it is spread evenly and kept away from direct contact with the stems of the pak choy plants.

By adhering to these guidelines for sowing pak choy seeds, watering and sunlight requirements, and maintaining proper nutrition, you can nurture healthy pak choy plants that will provide you with a bountiful harvest. For more information on growing other vegetables and herbs in Australia, check out our articles on how to grow cauliflower in Australia, how to grow mustard greens in Australia, and how to grow kohlrabi in Australia.

Managing Pests and Diseases

To ensure a successful and thriving pak choy harvest, it's important to be aware of the potential pests and diseases that can affect your plants. By understanding common pests and diseases and implementing natural and organic pest control methods, you can protect your pak choy crop and maintain its health.

Common Pests that Affect Pak Choy

Pak choy can fall victim to a variety of pests. Here are some of the most common pests that you may encounter when growing pak choy:

Pest

Description

Aphids

Small insects that feed on the sap of plants and can cause damage to the leaves.

Cabbage worms

Green caterpillars that feed on the leaves of cabbage family plants, including pak choy.

Slugs and snails

These mollusks can chew holes in the leaves of pak choy, causing damage to the plants.

Flea beetles

Small beetles that can create tiny holes in the leaves of pak choy, affecting its overall health.

Natural and Organic Pest Control Methods

Instead of relying on harsh chemicals, consider using natural and organic pest control methods to keep pests at bay and protect your pak choy plants. Here are a few effective strategies:

  1. Handpicking: Remove pests by hand, especially larger pests like cabbage worms and slugs. Check your plants regularly and dispose of any pests you find.
  2. Companion planting: Planting certain flowers and herbs, such as marigolds and mint, near your pak choy can help repel pests. They act as natural deterrents, reducing the likelihood of pest infestations.
  3. Neem oil spray: Neem oil, derived from the neem tree, can be diluted with water and sprayed onto the leaves of pak choy to deter pests. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product for proper application.
  4. Beneficial insects: Introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings to your garden. These insects feed on pests, helping to control their population naturally.

By implementing these natural pest control methods, you can protect your pak choy plants and maintain a healthy garden. For more information on pests and diseases that affect other vegetables, check out our articles in our A-Z guides!

Recognising and Treating Common Diseases

In addition to pests, pak choy can also be susceptible to various diseases. Here are some common diseases that may affect your pak choy crop:

Disease

Description

Downy mildew

A fungal disease that causes yellowish spots on the leaves and can lead to leaf drop.

Clubroot

A soil-borne disease that causes the roots to become swollen and misshapen, leading to stunted growth.

Black rot

A bacterial disease that causes dark, V-shaped lesions on the leaves and can lead to plant death.

To prevent and manage these diseases, it's important to practice good garden hygiene. Here are some tips:

  • Crop rotation: Avoid planting pak choy or other cabbage family plants in the same spot year after year to reduce the risk of disease buildup in the soil.
  • Well-drained soil: Ensure your garden beds have proper drainage to prevent waterlogged soil, which can promote the growth of fungal diseases.
  • Proper spacing: Plant your pak choy with enough space between the plants to allow for good air circulation, reducing the likelihood of fungal diseases.
  • Water management: Avoid overhead watering and water at the base of the plants to minimise the spread of diseases.

If you notice any signs of disease on your pak choy plants, promptly remove and destroy the affected leaves or plants. For severe cases, you may need to remove the entire plant to prevent the spread of disease to other plants.

By being vigilant and taking proactive measures, you can minimise the impact of pests and diseases on your pak choy crop and enjoy a healthy and thriving garden.

Harvesting and Storing Pak Choy

Once your pak choy plants have reached maturity, it's time to harvest and enjoy the fruits of your labour. Harvesting pak choy at the right time ensures that you get the best flavor and texture from this leafy green. Here's a guide on when and how to harvest pak choy, as well as some tips on storing and preserving it.

When to Harvest Pak Choy

Pak choy is typically ready for harvest around 6 to 8 weeks after planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions. The size of the plant and the development of the leaves are good indicators of readiness. Look for pak choy plants with firm and compact heads, and leaves that are crispy and vibrant green in color.

Proper Ways to Harvest Pak Choy

To harvest pak choy, simply take a sharp knife or pair of scissors and cut the leaves at the base, just above the soil level. Alternatively, you can gently pull the entire plant out of the ground. This method allows you to use the entire plant, including the tender stems.

If you prefer a continuous harvest, you can practice cut-and-come-again harvesting. This involves cutting only the outer leaves, allowing the inner leaves to continue growing. This way, you can enjoy fresh pak choy over an extended period of time.

Storing and Preserving Pak Choy

To keep your harvested pak choy fresh, it's best to store it properly. Here are a few tips for storing pak choy:

  1. Refrigeration: Place the harvested pak choy in a plastic bag or airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It can stay fresh for up to one week.
  2. Moisture Control: Before storing, make sure to remove any excess moisture from the leaves to prevent wilting. You can gently pat the leaves dry with a paper towel.
  3. Separation: If you have multiple pak choy plants, separate the leaves from each plant before storing to prevent them from sticking together.
  4. Freezing: If you have a surplus of pak choy, you can blanch it briefly in boiling water for a minute, then plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the excess water and store the blanched pak choy in a freezer-safe container or bag. Frozen pak choy can be used in soups, stir-fries, or other cooked dishes.

By following these harvesting and storage tips, you can enjoy the freshness and nutritional benefits of your homegrown pak choy for an extended period.

Remember, the satisfaction of growing and harvesting your own pak choy is a rewarding experience. So get ready to enjoy the flavours of your thriving garden!

  1. Drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the pak choy, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Continue stir-frying for another minute or two until the pak choy is tender-crisp.
  3. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Enjoy!
  1. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until well-coated.
  2. Allow the flavours to meld for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Serve the pak choy salad as a refreshing side dish or add grilled chicken or tofu for a complete meal. Enjoy!
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